Oats : Recipe No.4

Smiley biscuits with a dark chocolate filling – okay, mine were originally made with wholegrain flour, but there is no reason why you can’t swap the flour for ground oats. The dough will need to chill thoroughly in the fridge before you cut out the biscuit shapes. I recommend making the dough the night before you wish to bake.

100g ground oats (or wholegrain flour if you wish)

100g ground almonds

50g ground sunflower seeds

50g ground linseeds/flaxseeds

6 dried apricots cut up VERY finely. (As small as you can โ€“ when you come to cutting the biscuit shapes it will help prevent the cutters trying to slice through a big chunk of apricot. I put these in to add a little kick of sweetness.)

This all adds up to 300g of dry ingredients. You could experiment with the quantities of each ingredient, as well as swapping them for other things that take your fancy. Make sure you end up with 300g of dry ingredients.

150g honey

150g butter (they don’t really do ‘unsalted’ in Switzerland, at least not in Migros or Coop, but go for that option if you can)

200g chocolate of your choice. You may need more.

Put all the dry ingredients into a big bowl, ensuring you have ground them up and are all of a fine consistency. Melt together the butter and honey. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until it they are all well combined. It will start as a fairly wet mix, but keep stirring and it will thicken. Once you have the dough in a manageable ball, plop it onto some clingfilm and wrap it up to pop in the fridge. Leave the dough to cool thoroughly, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180ยบC . Remove the dough from the fridge. I cut it in half and rolled out half at a time to keep the rest of the dough cool. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and to about 0.5cm in thickness. Try not to knead the dough – it doesn’t need it. Using cutters of any shape and size, cut out your biscuits and place them on to a lined baking tray. Use a spatula to gently slide under the biscuits should they stick to the work surface.

My awesome, cheer-you-up, smiley cutters were a Christmas present from my mother. They are from Lakeland’s. I have previously made jammy dodger type biscuits with them – check out the photographs on my Facebook page.

Once you have a tray filled with biscuits, put them in the oven for 10 mins, or until they start to go golden. They will bubble as the honey and butter make a wetter dough than when using refined sugar. It will leave golden bottoms to the biscuits. Keep an eye on the biscuits as they bake, as they do cook quickly. The biscuits will be soft when they come out of the oven, but leave them to cool and they soon harden.

If you cut and bake the biscuits in batches, you can start cutting the next round whilst the first batch are in the oven. Once they all the biscuits are cooled, melt some chocolate (roughly 200g) in a bowl over a pan of water. Do not stir the chocolate whilst it is melting, and do not allow it to get too hot as the chocolate can easily burn and turn into a curdled mess. I used dark chocolate. It has a higher melting point than white and milk chocolate. Be patient and let the chocolate melt at a warm temperature and you will be rewarded with a glossy finish. I used a 72% dark chocolate from Migros, to which they do not add sugar.

Once the chocolate is melted, dribble a small amount onto the base of each biscuit. Allow the chocolate to cool and then add another layer. Again, allow the chocolate to cool and set a little before placing the top biscuit on top. Letting the chocolate cool will ensure it won’t dribble down the sides of the biscuits, leaving you with a neater finish.

They are sweet, tasty, nutritious and put a smile on your face. What do you think?

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You can tell which ones I DIDN’T keep an eye on.

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